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Teacher guide Asia rising: Japanese postcards of the Russo-Japanese War, 1904-05 - essay by John Dower

TLF ID M007080

This is a richly illustrated and highly readable essay about how the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05 was represented in Japan. The essay focuses on the picture postcards that Japanese photographers, artists, illustrators and propagandists produced in huge numbers throughout the war. Linked to various sections of the essay are a set of photographs, two panoramas of battles and five sets of postcards.

Educational details

Educational value
  • This collection of materials on the Russo-Japanese War provides a wealth of primary and secondary sources valuable for Modern History in years 11 and 12, and History in year 9. It is useful for studies of the rise of Japan in the early 20th century and for the depth study of Asia and the world. The collection, particularly the essay, focuses on the role of the hugely popular picture postcards during the war and on their artistic inspiration and innovations in visual design.
  • The illustrated essay by John Dower, professor of History at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, shows how a historian can use an online essay format to put forward ideas and support them with rich visual evidence. Dower describes how Japanese picture postcards visualised four major aspects of the War: heroes and heroines; victory; celebration; and commemoration.
Year level

9; 10; 11; 12

Other details

  • Author
  • Person: John Dower
  • Description: Author
  • Contributor
  • Name: Education Services Australia
  • Organization: Education Services Australia
  • Description: Data manager
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
  • Person: John Dower
  • Description: Author
  • Publisher
  • Name: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Organization: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Description: Publisher
  • Address: Massachusetts, UNITED STATES
  • URL:
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
Access profile
  • Generic
Learning Resource Type
  • Online
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology © 2008 Visualizing Cultures. Creative Commons-Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0.